Hansel and Gretel
In a green forest, there was a woodcutter living there by his wife and his two kids. His son’s name was Hansel and his daughter’s name was Gretel. They were very poor. There were times that they even hadn’t something to eat for a day. One day, our poor woodcutter didn’t have enough money for a loaf of bread.
So when the night came, he started to think and think. At the end, he whispered to his wife:
What will happen to us? We can not feed our kids. they are starving.
I know the solution dear! Said the wife. We will take the kids deep in the forest early in the morning. we will ignite a fire for them and we will give each of them a loaf of bread. Then we will leave them for good. They will never find us again and with this plan, we will get rid of them.
Oh no wife! I can not imagine how I’m gonna do that! I can’t leave my kids alone in the forest! Wild animals will find them and swallow them in a moment.
You stupid man! Yelled the wife! Then the four of us will die out of hunger! You better start and make the coffins.
After a while, the man seemed convinced.
OK! But I really am sad for my poor kids.
Not being able to sleep because of hunger, Hansel and Gretel heard what their step mom planned for them. they cried quietly. Gretel said:
This is the end of our story! We are going to die tommorow!
Be quiet Gretel and don’t afraid! I’ve got this.
He waited until both their parents went to sleep. Then he got up, put on his jacket and slipped out from the back door. He stood near the garden, where the white stones were shining under the moon’s light! He picked up as many stones as he could and filled his pocket with them.
Then he turned back to the house and said to his sister:
Keep calm dear and sleep in peace! God will never forget us!
next morning, just before the sunrise, the step mom came and said:
Wake up! Wake up you lazy kids. We have to go to the forest and cut woods for your father.
Then she gave each of them a bread and said:
This is your dinner. Don’t eat it until then!
Gretel take the bread and hide it under her apron, because Hansel had his pocket full of stones. Then they started their journey to the forest. In their way, Hansel took a stone from his pocket every now and then and dropped it on the ground.
When they reached the heart of the forest, they collect wood with their father and used it to make a fire to keeping them warm. When the fire was ready, The step mom said:
Now lie down and rest kids. Your father and I will collect woods and when we were ready to go, we will wake you up!
After a while, they became tired and fell sleep. When they finally woke up, it was night. Gretel started crying and said:
OMG! How shall we get of this forest?
Don’t even think about it sis! Wait a little bit, when the moon rises, we will easily find our way to home.
And when the full mon got up, Hansel took Gretel’s hand and started to follow the white stones that were shining like silver. They walk all the night and next morning, they reached their house. They knocked the door. When the wife opened the door and saw Hansel and Gretel, she said:
You naughty children! How many hours you slept in the woods! We thought you’ll never come back.
But their father was so happy for seeing his kids once again.
Not very long after, another scarcity came to that area. Gain the children heard their step mom talking to their father:
Everything is finished! We just have a half a loaf and after that we will die! We have to get rid of the kids! This time we will take them even deeper in the woods so they will never find us again.
The man wasn’t happy with this at all! He whispered:
I’d rather to share my last morsel with my kids.
But the tricky step mom didn’t listened to him at all and finally managed to convince him to redo the plan.
Children heard this conversation completely. When the parents went to sleep, Hansel got up and wore his jacket. He wanted to go and pick up more white stones, but the step mom had locked the door. Hansel didn’t manage to get out but he started to comfort his little sister:
Don’t cry little sis! Go to sleep! I’m sure God will help us!
Next morning, the step mom came and woke them up and gave each of them a little piece of bread. even less than before. On they way to the woods, Hansel crumbled the bread in his pocket and every now and then, he dropped a crumb on the ground.
Hansel strewed bread crumbs all along the road. Woman take them deep deep into the forest. Where they never been before in their short lives. Then again they collect wood and made a large fire. The step mom said:
Sit here, you children, and when you are tired you can go to sleep; we are going into the forest to cut wood, and in the evening, when we are ready to go home we will come and wake you up.
So when noon came Grethel shared her bread with Hansel, who had strewed his along the road. Then they fell sleep, and the evening passed, and no one came for the poor children. When they woke up it was dark night. Hansel comforted his little sister:
Wait a little, Gretel, until the moon gets up. We will be able to find our way by the bread crumbs I scattered on the road.
So when the moon rose they got up, but they there were no bread crumbs on the ground, cause the birds of the forest and of the fields had come and eat them. Hansel thought they might find the way all the same, but they could not.
They walked that night, and the next day from the morning until the evening, but they could not find the way back to their home, and they were starving, for they had nothing to eat but the few berries they could pick up.
When they got very tired and decided to lay down under a tree and sleep.
It was now the third morning since they had left their father’s house. They were always trying to get back to it, but instead of that they only found themselves farther in the wood, and if help had not soon come they would have been starved.
About noon they saw a pretty snow-white bird sitting on a branch, and singing so sweetly that they stopped to listen. And when he had finished the bird spread his wings and flew before them, and they followed after him until they came to a little house, and the bird landed on the roof, and when they came closer they saw that the house was built of sweets, and roofed with cakes; and the window was of transparent sugar.
We will have some of this, said Hansel, and make a fine meal. I will eat a piece of the roof, Gretel, and you can have some of the window-that will taste like sugar.
So Hansel reached up and broke off a bit of the roof, just to see how it tasted, and Gretel stood by the window and chewed it. Suddenly they heard a thin voice coming from the inside:
Nibble, nibble, like a mouse,
Who is nibbling at my house?
And the children thought:
Never mind, It is the wind.
And they continued eating, not paying attention o the sound. Hansel, who found that the roof tasted very nice, took down a great piece of it, and Gretel pulled out a large round window-pane.
Then the door opened, and an aged woman came out, leaning upon a crutch. Hansel and Gretel felt very scared, and they dropped all was in their hands. The old woman, however, nodded her head, and said:
Ah, my dear children, how did you end up here? You must come in and stay with me, there is no problem with that.
So she took them each by the hand, and led them into her little house. And there they found a good meal laid out, of milk and pancakes, with sugar, apples, and nuts. After that she showed them two little white beds, and Hansel and Gretel laid themselves down on them, and thought they were in heaven.
The old woman, although her behavior was so kind, was a wicked witch, who lay in wait for children, and had built the little house on purpose to attract them. When they were once inside she used to kill them, cook them, and eat them, and then it was a feast day with her.
The witch’s eyes were red, and she could not see very far, but she had a keen scent, like the beasts, and knew very well when human creatures were near. When she knew that Hansel and Gretel were coming, she gave a spiteful laugh, and said with success:
I have them, and they shall not escape me!
Early in the morning, before the children were awake, she got up to look at them, and as they lay sleeping so peacefully with round rosy cheeks, she said to herself:
What a fine feast I shall have!
Then she grasped Hansel with her droopy hand, and led him into a little stable, and shut him up behind a fence. Hansel yelled and cried for help but it wasn’t enough to rescue him. Then the witch went back to Gretel and shook her:
Wake up lazy girl. You have to go and get some water. Cook something nice for your brother. I want him to get fat. When he becomes chubby, I will eat him up.
Gretel began to cry from the bottom of her heart, but it was useless, she had to do what the wicked witch told her. And so the best kind of snacks was cooked for poor Hansel, while Gretel got nothing but crab-shells.
Each morning the old witch visited the little stable, and cried:
Hansel, stretch out your finger, that I may tell if you are fat enough!
Hansel, however, used to hold out a little bone, and the old woman, who had weak eyes, could not see what it was, and supposing it to be Hansel’s finger, wondered very much that why isn’t he getting fat.
When four weeks had passed and Hansel seemed to remain so thin, she lost patience and couldn’t wait more.
Now then, Gretel, said the witch, come on! go get some water. no matter he is fat or thin, tomorrow I must kill and cook him.
Little Gretel who was very sad, started crying and her tears slipped on her cheeks:
Dear God, please help us! if we had been devoured by wild animals in the wood at least we should have died together.
Don’t waste your tears. said the old woman; they are of no avail.
Early next morning Gretel had to get up, make the fire, and fill the kettle.
First we will do the baking, said the old woman; I nave heated the oven already, and kneaded the dough.
She pushed poor Gretel towards the oven, out of which the flames were already shining.
Look inside, said the witch, and see if it is properly hot, so that the bread may be baked.
Gretel noticed that when she become close to the oven, the witch will push him into it, and after cooking her, she will eat her. So she said:
I don’t know how to do it! how shall I get in?
Stupid goose, said the old woman, the door is big enough, do you see? I could get in myself!
and she stooped down and put her head in the oven’s mouth. Then Gretel gave her a push, so that she went in farther, and she shut the iron door upon her, and put up the bar. Oh how frightfully she howled! but Gretel ran away, and left the wicked witch to burn miserably.
Gretel went straight to Hansel, opened the stable-door, and cried:
Hansel, we are free! the old witch is dead!
As soon as the door is opened, Hansel ran out of the stable and hug her little sister. How happy they both were! And as they had nothing more to fear they went over all the old witch’s house, and in every corner there stood chests of pearls and precious stones.
This is something better than white stones! said Hansel, as he filled his pockets.
And Gretel, thinking she also would like to carry something home with her, filled her apron full!
Now, we have to go! said Hansel, if we only can get out of the witch’s wood.
When they had journeyed a few hours they came to a great river.
We can never get across this, said Hansel, There is no stepping stones or bridge.
And there is no boat either, said Gretel; but here comes a white duck; if I ask her she will help us over.
So she sang:
Duck, duck, here we stand,
Hansel and Gretel, on the land,
Stepping-stones and bridge we lack,
Carry us over on your nice white back.
And the duck came, and Hansel got upon her and told his sister to come too.
No, answered Gretel, that would be too hard upon the duck; we can go separately, one after the other.
And that was how they did it, and after that they went on happily, until they came to the wood, and the way grew more and more familiar, till at last they saw in the distance their father’s house.
Then they ran till they came up to it, rushed in at the door, and fell on their father’s neck. The man had not had a quiet hour since he left his children in the wood; but the wife was dead.
And when Gretel opened her apron the pearls and precious stones were scattered all over the room, and Hansel took one handful after another out of his pocket. Then was all care at an end, and they lived in great joy together.
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